NOBODY THAT I have talked to has gotten indignant about the vice president's sidewalk, and the country is in danger, wouldn't you say, when the high and the mighty can get by with murder.

Next thing you know, they won't even pay their taxes.

But judge for yourself. There I was, on my way to the office, when I looked out of the bus window and saw a poor woman fall flat on her back on the icy snow of the sidewalk that runs along the vice president's house.

That was last Thursday, a week after the snow-fall, and the sidewalk had not been cleared for pedestrian traffic.

The woman got up, appeared unhurt (that is, she could still move), so the bus moved along and that was that.

"Maybe it's not the vice president's sidewalk," said one fellow. "It's the Naval Observatory grounds as well as the site of Mondale's house."

Someone else said:

"Well, she wasn't killed."

A third said:

"Of course, it's an awful lot of sidewalk there. It's not as if it were just 40 feet."

Excuses, excuses. If the vice president can't shovel but 40 feet, then he didn't have to move into a house with the longest sidewalk in the East, and if he undertook to live there, why isn't he out shoveling?

Suppose it isn't technically "his" sidewalk, but is property of the federal government. Well, if a high official can't get his own sidewalk cleaned off, how much good is he going to be, cloutwise, in the councils of state?

"This trifling slip." Somebody will say that, mark you. "Two-bit error," someone will say.

Some people do not know a crisis when they see one.